Omar Abdullah picks holes in Liyaqat Ali Shah's arrest, terror credentials

Questioning arrest of alleged Hizbul Mujahideen militant Liyaqat Ali Shah of Lolab by Delhi Police on Saturday, the Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today wondered that a militant had come to attack India along with his family.

"I am hearing for the first time that a militant had come to attack a shopping mall by holding the hand of his wife in one hand and his children in the other as they were entering India on picnic,'' said Omar while replying to discussion on demand for grants to Home Department in the State Legislative Assembly here this evening. "When militants come, they have guns in one hand and grenades in their other hand,'' he added.

Referring to Jammu Kashmir Police claim that Liyaqat was coming under state government's rehabilitation policy for misguided Kashmiri youth who had gone to Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) for arms training, but now wanted to leave the gun and return home to lead a peaceful life, Omar said that he sought a time bound probe into the matter by National Investigation Agency so as to uncover the truth. ``We know if any wrong was done this time, many others who too want to return home under this rehabilitation policy will step backward,'' he added.

The rehabilitation policy, he said, was well thought by the government. There had been allegations about disappearance of thousands of people and a large number of them killed in custody, while the fact was that a sizeable section of them had gone across the border for arms training and they now did not want to return home as militants, he pointed out. The idea behind the rehabilitation policy was to set at rest all those charges by providing them a chance to return home, he added.

"First we wanted them to enter through the Line of Control (LoC), but as the neighbouring country did not agree it as it would expose its hand behind Kashmir turmoil before the world community, we had no other option except allowing them to come through Nepal. It had been going on smoothly for the last many months until Delhi Police arrested Liyaqat on Saturday,'' he said. He justified government's rehabilitation policy, saying that it was in the interests of the state and the country, as in the absence of their rehabilitation, there were chances of their returning to militant ranks.

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